Flash, HTML5 and Kite Flying

April 9th, 2013 by RoyReed

dt04 - team hairpinA long time ago I animated all of the International Sport Kite compulsory figures using Flash. These animations became the de facto standard for competition kite flying – in fact some of the judges wanted them to be the official standard instead of the static diagrams. When Jobs and Apple decided to drop support for Flash on the iPhone and iPad it meant that people using those platforms couldn’t view the animations when they were in the field.

Well, it’s taken some time, but I’ve now added HTML5 versions of the animations to all 123 pages (there are only 99 figures, but some the dual-line team figures are shown for 3, 4 and 5 kite teams). The conversions were done using Google’s Swiffy. It’s not a perfect conversion as for some reason the buttons to turn the grid and figure lines on and off didn’t work (so I’ve dropped them on the HTML5 versions), but at least all the fanboys will now be able to see how the figures are meant to be flown.

I case you want to look, you’ll only see the HTML5 versions of the animations if your browser isn’t Flash enabled.

Edit 12/04/2013: I’ve added HTML5 functionality to my Kite Trick animations as well.

Italian Properties

March 18th, 2013 by RoyReed

Italian PropertiesI’ve just finished a new website for Italian Properties who have six holiday villas situated north of Lucca near Coreglia Antelminelli which lies in the beautiful Garfagnana region of Tuscany. I first made a website for them nearly 13 years ago to a design done by an illustrator friend. It was his first website and the fact that it has lasted all that time without looking too out-of-date is a testament to how good it was for the time.

The new site makes extensive use of FloatBox – the best of all the Lightbox clones.

Kevin Ayers – R.I.P.

February 21st, 2013 by RoyReed

Kevin AyersI just heard on the news that Kevin Ayers has died. Kevin was one of the founders of the band Soft Machine in the 1960s. They were the first band I ever saw live (at the Country Club in Belsize Park in 1969). He left Soft Machine later that year and began his meandering solo career writing beautiful songs that not many people ever heard. John Peel said that Ayers along with Syd Barrett were “the two most important people in British pop music. Everything that came after came from them.” I couldn’t disagree.

I actually met him once – he was very nice to me.

Birding or Twitching?

January 26th, 2013 by RoyReed

While I’ve been working down in Cornwall I’ve been lucky enough to see some beautiful birds just by looking out of my window. There were two that I couldn’t recognise and I had to ask on a birder’s forum. It turned out they were a black-tailed and bar-tailed godwit. The photo’s not the best – I wasn’t quite close enough and I was having to shoot at 800ASA – but I’m still quite pleased to have photographed two birds at the same time that have RSPB red and amber status. I was a bit more pleased with the quality of the photos I took of a curlew and a lapwing, also amber and red status birds.

All of the photos were taken on my pocket Fuji F600.

Cornish Church Panoramas

January 24th, 2013 by RoyReed

In the last few days I’ve added some new 360° panoramas of some Cornish Churches, namely Ladock, Crantock, Lanlivery and Luxulyan. They all had some amazing features: the altar painting at Ladock, the font, rood screen and wood carving at Crantock, the bellringers’ painted sign and ceiling bosses at Lanlivery and the font and memorials at Luxulyan.

You can see more photos of Cornish Churches at my Flickr pages.

Seduced by Art

December 17th, 2012 by RoyReed

This morning I went to see ‘Seduced by Art’, the first exhibition at the National Gallery to feature photography. What a disappointment! The majority of photography in the exhibition was of the Turner Prize variety – full of nothing but post-justification of a trivial concept. The comparisons between the photographs and paintings were trite and largely meaningless and showed a complete lack of knowledge of photography on the part of the curators. I find it hard to believe that the comments in the labels had any thought behind them whatsoever. My favourite referred to the photograph of the naked Man with Octopus Tattoo by Richard Learoyd (which has been used on the poster for the exhibition) which describes how the tentacle rising up the man’s back follows and reinforces the curve of his spine. It just doesn’t!

Seduced by Art

For a review that states it better than I ever could (and before you choose to part with the  £12 entrance fee), you should read what Brian Sewell thought of the exhibition.

TopStyle v5

November 20th, 2012 by RoyReed

topstyle-iconVersion 5 of TopStyle, the HTML and CSS editor, has just been released today. Stefan van As, the Dutch Delphi programmer, took over the development of TopStyle from Nick Bradbury (the original creator) some time ago and has introduced lots of new features to bring it up-to-date and make it compatible with HTML5 and CSS3. I’ve been beta testing and have also helped out by writing the new CSS3 definition file. I even get a name-check in the credits in the help files! If you hand-roll your own code you really should check it out.

Michael Kenna

November 14th, 2012 by RoyReed

Trees in Snow

I saw a beautiful exhibition of photos yesterday by a guy I was at college with in the 1970s – Michael Kenna. In the intervening years he’s become one of the world’s top landscape photographers. I’m amazed at the consistency of his style over all these years – simply stunning!

If you have a chance to see the exhibition it’s on for the next few weeks at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London, and finishes on January 2 2013.

Highpoint 1

November 11th, 2012 by RoyReed

As promised here are a few more of my photos from the ‘Thirties’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1979. These are of Highpoint 1, designed by architect Berthold Lubetkin and engineered by Ove Arup in 1935. One of the best examples of the International Style, the building was admired by Le Corbusier when he visited London.

Chrome overtakes Firefox

September 3rd, 2012 by RoyReed

For the first time Google’s Chrome browser has overtaken Firefox as being the most-used browser visiting the reeddesign.co.uk website according to the log files for August.

The actual figures are close with Chrome at 27.96% and Firefox 27.68%. Firefox has been top of the table since 2008 when it shot past Internet Explorer going from 2% behind in July to 16% ahead in August.

Interestingly (and annoyingly) IE6 is still a significant proportion of the 13.5% of people still using IE – and surprisingly it’s ahead of IE7. That’s only about 25 page hits a day, but still significant.

My personal preference is still for Firefox, which I’ve been using as my main browser since version 1 came out in late 2004. But I have all of the major browsers on my PC for testing purposes, most of them in several versions, the earlier of which I run on Windows XP virtual PCs.